Rock’s Report From The 58th SF Intl Film Festival: State of Cinema Address with Douglass Trumbull

1174807_Douglas-TrumbullIf you ever had the pleasure of visiting an elder gentleman like a grandfather, or uncle, or perhaps even your own father, you begin to appreciate the wisdom they bestow as they relish in stories of the great yesteryear and days forlorn. And it’s even better when they want to start a revolution. Yes, if sir Douglas Trumbull, who worked with a lot of film greats and luminaries, wants a revolution he should get one.

Mr. Trumbull posits that the viewing of cinema needs to change, and further states we should get rid of 24 frames. Personally, I don’t agree. Hell, I just got in film school and now he wants to change it. I do think that with the technology he is developing that he is on to something huge and for compassion sake I hope he gets funding. He supposes that the way we view cinema is old fashioned and antiquated (I agree), via a box and viewing room, which by today’s home theatre standards are almost equal. TV and Cinema by today’s standard look exactly the same and the outlook is to some – bleak. I know in TV you can develop characters and the myth is you can do more story wise, but I don’t buy it. Technically they are one in the same and it seems when shooting a movie people look to television as to how it should be done, which in turn has given us pretty crappy movie going experiences because they should be two different experiences.

Mr. Trumbull is really pushing for a change in exhibition. He says that what he is working can actually be outfitted in today’s cinema; a complete immersion of the viewing experience, not just a change in the upholstery and a liquor license. He calls this process Magi (there is an acronym somewhere, but he was running out of time and actually just wanted to talk and explain everything, God bless him). What it does is give the viewer a 180 degree cinema viewing (IMAX doesn’t come close), and with a brighter screen, but he also removes the 24 frames, the thing which makes a film a film. This is something I’m not willing to give up. But as change happens I must adapt, but who am I to say?


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Categories: Features, San Francisco International Film Festival

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